PM defends DSH project; agreement was leaked

PM Allen Chastanet

PM Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has expressed disappointment with civil servants, while confirming that the Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) agreement with the Government of Saint Lucia was leaked.

This therefore means that the two documents that have been circulating on social media could be the actual agreement.

Chastanet said, “The fact is, the documents goes in files and you trust that civil servants will do the right thing. If I am upset at anything, it is that somebody would have breached this.”

The prime minister made this statement on Talk with Rick Wayne on Thursday evening.

He said that while he expect leaks and “you don’t see me jumping off a cliff,” he is still disappointed in the fact that someone would go to the extreme of leaking confidential government information.

“What I am grateful for, is that I was being transparent the whole time…that when this thing was leaked people knew about the project,” hinting that the previous government did the total opposite.

He went on to speak briefly about the Grynberg Project, saying: “Maybe there is merit in allowing the documents to remain in the house of somebody rather than putting them in the files of government,because maybe they stay secret much longer.”

The Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) took the opportunity to assess the two documents purporting to be the agreement, and provided a comprehensive argument on why they think government has erred.

SLP’s spokesman for commerce and investment Dr. Ernest Hilaire argued that the agreement offers little and virtually places all of the productive and investment lands in Vieux Fort in the hands of one developer.

But Chastanet defended the project stating that it will create the type of sustainable jobs that the people of Vieux Fort deserves and it is not going to be another failed project.

St. Lucians have also added their voices to the debate, with some in support, while others are not.

Those in support, said that Vieux Fort has suffered too long and believes the project will create opportunities for the people in that community, especially in these harsh economic times.

Others have argued that the government moved too quickly to approve the project and did not look at the fine prints, giving the company enormous advantage over them.

Some fear that this could set precedence for other investors to come here to set up shop, go into real estate, buy all the available pieces of land and house for sale, which can cause prices to rise, and thus putting the poor locals out on the streets in the long term.

(13)(7)
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37 comments

  1. SO WHAT MR P.M. if the Agreement was leaked! That is NOT THE POINT!

    We were being kept in the dark after the agreement was signed.

    Bravo to the Whistle blowers! Our very own LOCAL Edward Snowden. Bravo!

    (2)(0)
  2. I am so sick and tired of the jobs excuse. Yes it will but at what cost. Thats like selling your soul to the devil.

    (5)(0)
  3. When is DSH going to erect their security Hut. This sounds to me like a land grab. Be careful we don"t end up with a deal like we had with Bill Turner way back then. heck rick on that one.

    (4)(1)
  4. Why do these people continue to make bad deals against the wishes of the people ? Who is protecting our interest ? How could so much land be off limits to a whole generation, with minimal benefits ? Government remains "by the people", but is it still "for the people". Is there a conflict of interest ? When it is all said and done, the poor will be the biggest losers. Expect a massive hick in the price of land /plus. As commodities become scarce, their prices go up.

    (16)(6)
  5. I am taking bets on NO DHS horse racing in St.Lucia in November 2017/ At this time I am giving odds of 10 to 1 Maximum bets 2 billion U.S/

    G.J

    (8)(2)
  6. is that land making anyone money now? is anyone working the land now? are jobs being created there now? the slp could give a damn about the land. they are mad because they could not close the deal. I am sure it was an slp slackie that leaked the info. people bitch about not having the opportunity for jobs and then bitch about having that opportunity. only in the slp. hell, Kenny and the slp would have denied this project ever existed until the first dirt was turned

    (12)(19)
  7. Make your own judgement one way or another, url's below. It's FDI (foreign direct investment), something that our island should take advantage of, be it this development or the GP development in Choiseul https://www.stlucianewsonline.com/major-real-estate-project-for-choiseul/ . There is always give and take. It is very easy to point at the failed Le Paradis development --- yes, it was a train wreck that has been allegedly associated with the notorious Bernie Madoff New York money convicted ponzi scheme.

    All projects have upsides and downsides, and in most cases not everyone is satified. That's life. From where I sit, my opinion is that, as opposed to Madoff and his New York non-existent money, the money involved with the project in Choiseul and the DSH will get the job done. To state the obvious, money never sleeps, take a look as recently as today about the flight of capital in the Region

    Keep in mind that there was a similar uproar over a controversial, at the time, development that involved draining a remote mosquito-infested swamp, excavation, regarding, installing sewer and water infrastructure, and proposing some crazy idea about building a channel and creating a community around a marina. There were numerous detractors and nay-sayers at the time. That's how Rodney Bay came about, now arguably the un-official capital of our island and its international face abroad. At the time, a bold vision, much like what is being proposed now that could be a renaissance for the south end of the island.

    http://www.7thheavenproperties.com/2016/08/st-lucia-billion-dollar-development/

    http://www.wiredja.com/business/item/3454-national-trust-has-some-concerns-regarding-multi-billion-dollar-project

    http://www.desertstarholdings.com/

    (8)(6)
  8. Let me hear some comments from WHO , was very supportive of this project in its present format and posted views condemning Dr St Hillare. Please advanced to be recognized with a bit more objectivity.

    (2)(0)
  9. Is this all the explanation we get? Mr. Chastanet your voters expect better than that. What were you thinking?
    Our options are nil with these two political parties. One is grynberg the other is DSH.
    Sad, sad, sad.

    (8)(7)
  10. Anonymous stop blaming the SLP it's now the UWP and the shoes are in the other foot. Let us be objective. This project has lots of un -answered questions. Let us put country first and not party.

    I am so happy for the leaks. Civil servants continue to leak issues that affect us the people.

    I am amazed at the PM response paraphrasing he said he understands why Kenny had the contract in someones house....that is disappointing language fro our PM.

    I thought things will be different? but apparently not. PM you are being watched don't forget that

    (12)(2)
  11. Those fools cannot envision beyond the horizon. My next vote will be for any party who will undo CIP

    (11)(1)
  12. If this trend continues, this is exactly what will happen : " THE POOR LOCALS WILL BE OUT ON THE STREETS IN THE LONG RUN!' We must learn as St. Lucians to put aside all these petty political bickering and take time to study what is in our best interest or not as a nation.

    (21)(5)
    • Saint Lucians are very, very dumb. They elect even the dumbest representatives, believing any dumb lie their favourites tell them. A real fool is anyone who in full control of his faculties would agree to use the crap the the SLP jokers legalized as a sound basis to saddle Saint Lucians with a secret 99-year agreement. What a load of crap this is.

      (4)(1)
  13. Whats about the industrial relations aspect of this economic concern? Will workers have the right to choose and be represented by a trade union of their choice? I ask these question because some of these businesses operate like bandits. They take the rational of being in the business to make money to the extreme. Thus while pushing profit making strategies to the limit workers are denied their basic rights. Take a long time to strike a good deal but that;s better than one which take little time to negotiate and turn out to be bad for people and country.

    (4)(3)
    • Dacobs, trade unions are not what ensures basic human rights.

      Yes, trade unions did have their place back in the days of early 20th century coal mines and so on. That was then. And trade unions were established largely for workplace safety and well-being.

      We are in the 21st century.

      What does help ensure workplace safety and human rights are what did not exist 100+ years ago but exists now --- a framework of government regulatory back-stops that provide a proverbial basic floor for everyone.

      Unfortunately, in this day and age, unions are often top-heavy organizations of well paid staff that are funded by the monthly dues of member that provide questionable value-added with a lot of biteless yap-yap.

      (4)(0)
  14. a land thats leased for 99 years is not lost. After that time elapsed it falls back to the original owner.

    (1)(39)
  15. We can say goodbye to "fair Helen" this is the nail in the coffin for her, she is being sold to whoever at what ever cost, tears in her eyes, gone are the days. Bye-bye "fair Helen" it was a pleasure!

    So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.....Psalm 90:12......KJV.

    (29)(3)
    • It has been written: "Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that abundance will continue." “Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein, and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause shares in its burdens”

      Loss of "Fair Helen" has been at the hands of those that simply stand on the sidelines , complain from the sidelines, and not choose to do something to seize their nation's destiny.

      (1)(0)
      • Poor People Fed Up!

        You are quite right about that Calvin but can a poor man do when he helped the current government in power and was being persecuted in his own homeland?

        (1)(0)
  16. Nothing. Absolutely nothing can be guaranteed. Le Paradise is more than ample evidence of this fact. Even today, that there is still being litigated.

    A $1/acre lease for 99 years goes beyond the normal longevity of average life-span of born and bred Saint Lucians. Even most of the babies born today, may NEVER be able to tell, that this was a good or bad decision.

    But SLP perpetrated a cruel joke on Saint Lucians, when they created a so-called investment method that every government is legally obligated to hold the debt if the investment fails.

    No amount of crap said in the media can hide this. That is the shameful embarrassment that the pack of jokers in the SLP is trying so much to hide from the rest of us.

    SLP you failed. You failed miserably. You are still failing. Losers.

    (41)(20)
    • With Peter Josie's recent comments in the media regarding being a vanguard for anti-corruption, it appears that, rightly or wrongly, the SLP has an enthusiastic flag-bearer in their race --- individual Looshans' call as to whether it's a race to the top or to the rock bottom.

      (1)(0)
    • I'm not sure how the SLP is to blame for Chastanet rushing to sign a bad deal which requires no investment from the "investor" but for the gov to obtain the lands and fund the project through CIP.....i wonder how many jobs will be created and how much would we earn for all that has to be given to see this succeed (if it ever does)

      (5)(1)
    • You are fool blinded by color. No pride in your country. Were you even educated?

      (2)(0)
  17. Locals will get the jobs that are the bottom of the barrel. A clause in the contract said that Employees and Affiliates of DSH will pay no taxes and no VAT! This clearly means that the Chinese who will occupy the TOP positions will pay nothing back! The salary that the shit shovellers which is the jobs the locals will get will be pennies! That is the ching ching in your pockets....the sound of the pennies in your pockets when Chastenet finish with yall.

    (48)(4)
  18. So we losing all the beach from coconut bay to el pirrata. And this is for us? You must be joking

    (34)(2)
  19. I agree with the actions of the civil servants, this agreement is BAD for all of us, put our people first Mr. PM.

    (39)(4)
  20. The few jobs that will be created is at a monumental cost. The lost of land to foreigners out way those domestic jobs. The next generation will be deprived of living space, and will be handicapped to compete with the rich . St Lucians should demand a halt to this insanity.

    (49)(9)
    • St Lucians demand a halt to this insanity? In Vieux Fort? We are already insane. Kenny made us insane. This is why you all labor hack believe you all can continue to through things down our throats. Kenny paved a motor-able highway, resurface a good Clarke Street road and built an unnecessary Square for millions whiles our health sector was a real mess. We will fight for the project as insane people. This is how desperate we want this project.

      (10)(42)
      • We say we want healthcare, we want better roads, better paying jobs, a progressive country. People none of those necessities do not come freely. The implementation of taxes is for this very purpose. Everyone deserves better healthcare, but how can we achieve such without EVERY citizens input. The government by its lonesome cannot provide free healthcare for every St.Lucian. We have to foot a portion of that bill.
        We are trying to squeeze way too much out of this small island which does not have the productivity and level of resources as some of our Caribbean counterparts.

        As for this DHS AGREEMENT, can we not concentrate on the investment dollar amount and think of the future ramifications this would have on potent St.Lucians who may dreams of developing St.Lucia? The magnitude of this lease is not to be taken lightly. The rezoning and subsequent development of the proposed lands will forever change the landscape of Vieux-Fort. It surely should not be viewed as securing a 99 year lease of a building.

        I implore every St.Lucian to view this potential economic goldmine un-bias of political affiliation and from the viewpoint of where will you, your kids and grand kids stand in the grand skim of things. Then again I am only a concernd Citizen.

        (8)(1)
      • Spoken like a true party hack......try to read the agreement and see who is protected and who is assuming all the risk.

        (5)(3)
      • Are you even understanding what you are writing?
        This project will destroy Vieux Fort moron.

        (7)(1)
      • Shut your hateful jealous...The south needed a face lift! Wth Castries alone got out for 30 years what happen vf can't have it. We house the international airport, Spartan, so many other important institutions don't we need a place to relax to?

        The useless square in Castries got one.. I hate to read bare madness online. Kenny did what he had to for the south and although I might not agree with all his decisions I am super proud of what he has done for us in the south

        We don't want the PM stupid deal which would burden the country and make us slaves. We don't want it period as it does nothing for the betterment of the country in the short of long run

        (4)(9)
    • you just don't want foreigners to own the land because you are a bigot. what is the monumental cost mr. slp? not enough land for people to live? are you nuts? there are thousands of acres of land available on the island even without this property. there are not that any people living there now. you are just against the plan because the uwp is going to do something Kenny could never do--make a good business decision that will bring jobs and tax dollars to st. lucia--not a scandal

      (4)(19)
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